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McDonald’s Braves Social-Media Waters With Q&A Campaign

Published on Oct 13 2014 3:45 PM in Restaurant

McDonald’s Braves Social-Media Waters With Q&A Campaign

McDonald’s Corp., which hasn’t always gotten a warm reception on social media, is taking to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with a Q&A-style ad campaign, aiming to dispel the notion that its food is unhealthy.

 

The world’s largest restaurant chain began taking questions from Americans today via social-networking sites, promising to deliver “real answers.” As part of the campaign, former “MythBusters” host Grant Imahara will visit McDonald’s suppliers and restaurants across the US and appear in a series of online videos.

McDonald’s is using more of an unvarnished approach to marketing as it tries to recover from four straight months of declining US same-store sales. Venturing into social media can be risky for large companies. Earlier this year, McDonald’s drew ridicule on Twitter and Facebook for a toothy Happy Meal mascot that some people described as frightening. The company also has been targeted by viral videos, such as one showing a McNugget under a microscope.

McDonald’s already has a frequently-asked-questions page on its site with some unflattering information about its food. The company does use food coloring in its milkshakes, for instance, and its McRib sandwich is made from pork shoulder - along with salt, water, dextrose and some preservatives. On the other hand, most restaurants use freshly cracked eggs for breakfast sandwiches and apple pies have real apples, McDonald’s said.

McDonald’s, based in Illinois, also has been rolling out new menu items and price promotions as it tries to revive US growth. That includes $2 jalapeno burgers and a 20-pack of Chicken McNuggets for $5. McDonald’s has about 14,000 locations in the US.

“People are looking for faster, more straightforward responses to their questions about our food,” Ben Stringfellow, a spokesman for McDonald’s USA, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to engaging in two-way conversations with as many people as possible.”

Bloomberg News, edited by Hospitality Ireland

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